Hit BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? has been picked up by US network NBC and will be made by Wall to Wall and Friends star Lisa Kudrow's production outfit.

The Wall to Wall format, which follows celebrities as they trace their family tree and uncover the stories of their ancestors, has been given a series order dependent on finding a suitable celebrity cast.

Producers are currently researching the family trees of several interested celebrity candidates to see whether they have compelling backgrounds but the network is not naming interested candidates at this stage.

The UK series uncovered backstories that included bigamy, wartime heroism and, in one case, attempted murder.

Participants, who have included Jeremy Paxman, David Baddiel and Natasha Kaplinsky, are often brought to tears as they learn about their ancestors lives.

Wall to Wall is teaming up with former Friends star Lisa Kudrow's production company, Is Or Isn't Entertainment, to make the series, which is expected to stay true to the original format.

Wall to Wall chief executive Alex Graham, who will exec produce the series, said: "It's about people trying to figure out a sense of identity, and we've discovered it's an emotional journey.

“Everybody has a great story. When confronted by that great story, no matter how practiced you are in front of the camera, it's very incredibly moving."

NBC executive vice president of alternative programming Craig Plestis said: “It's great storytelling, a journey of self-discovery for these celebrities and truly moving and life-changing. You often see a very different side of them."